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Sir Rocco Forte
|Born||18 January 1945|
|Known for||Rocco Forte Hotels|
|Spouse(s)||Aliai Giovanna Maria Ricci|
Born in Bournemouth, the son of the late Lord Forte and his wife Irene, he was educated at St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School, Southbourne, and Downside School. He read modern languages at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he won a blue for fencing.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1969, later becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1979.
He took over from his father as CEO of the Forte Group in 1992. In the mid-1990s, the Forte Group was faced with a hostile takeover bid from Gerry Robinson's Granada. Ultimately, Granada succeeded with a £3.87 billion tender offer in August 1995 that left the family with around £350 million in cash.
In 2001, following the de-merger of Compass Group from Granada's media interests, the use of the Forte trademark was returned to Forte in a gesture intended to dispel the bitter legacy of the takeover.
After the takeover, Forte set up his own chain of hotels in 1996, initially known as RF Hotels and re-branded as The Rocco Forte Collection after the return of the Forte brand name. He bought the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and Brown's Hotel in London for £51.5m. As of April 2013, The Rocco Forte Collection operates eleven hotels in Europe, Russia, northern Africa and the Middle East.
Forte's family wealth in 2013 was listed as £250,000,000.
Honours and awards
Forte was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1995 New Year Honours list for services to the UK tourism industry. In March 2005, he received the highest Italian accolade, the Gran Croce dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, for his entrepreneurial merits and strong links with Italy. He was President of the British Hospitality Association from 1991 to 1996.
He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and chaired the appeals to send the English teams to the Commonwealth Games for many years.
In 1992, Forte and Martin Landau opened a City Technology College in Derby named Landau Forte College. In 2006, they changed to an academy. In 2010, they took a Tamworth High School (Woodhouse Business & Enterprise College) and turned it into Landau Forte Academy Tamworth, but in 2011, when they opened Landau Forte Academy QEMS in Tamworth, they changed their name to Landau Forte Academy Amington. There has since been a Sixth Form centre open next to Landau Forte Academy QEMS named Landau Forte Academy Tamworth Sixth Form. He is also a prominent donor for current PM Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign.
On 15 February 1986, in the Aracoeli church of Rome, he married Aliai Giovanna Maria Ricci, a twenty-one-year-old Italian (b. 1965), who nowdays has turned in fashion design worker. She is the daughter of a famous Roman neurologist, professor Giovanni Ricci. They have three children together: Lydia Irene (b. 1987), Irene Alisea (b. 1988) and Charles Giovanni (b. 1991).
Other notable Forte family members include his sister Olga Polizzi, her daughter Alex Polizzi, an hotelier and the presenter of Channel 5's The Hotel Inspector, and Lisa Forte, social engineering expert and public figure who won the Top 100 Women in Tech Award in 2019.
- "Rocco Giovanni Forte". Companies House. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
- "Sir Rocco Forte, MA, FCA – Chairman The Rocco Forte Collection". Conrad N. Hilton College. University of Houston. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- "Forte checks out of Balmoral". The Sunday Times. London.
- Janet Harmer (22 April 2013). "Hoteliers dominate The Sunday Times Rich List 2013". The Caterer.
- "No. 54058". The London Gazette. 9 June 1995. p. 8075.
- Marre, Oliver (13 April 2008). "Pendennis". The Guardian. London.
- Walker, Peter (13 August 2019). "Hotelier threw £12,000 victory party for Johnson, records reveal". The Guardian.
- Aliai Forte, interview
- Professor Giovanni Ricci, Neurologo, Roma
- Olga Polizzi, professional profile
- "The richest people in travel". The Daily Telegraph. London. 22 April 2013.
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